Caucasian Rugs: The Beautiful And Graceful
Caucasian rugs have been produced for centuries in spite of constant ebb and flow of invaders. Caucasian designs have been copied worldwide but noting to beat the original. Caucasian is located between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea to the east and the west with the northern tier of this mountainous place in Russia and Turkey and Iran in the southwest and southeast respectively. This are have a remnants of over a hundred tribes and three hundred recorded dialects. Design is copied by others but the greatest attraction of the Caucasian rugs is the color and all of the products manufactured are local, rugged, angular, vivid and charming. The basic materials used for these rugs are wool, and cotton is used if it is available and silk is alien to this territory.
Caucasian rugs are made of Turkish knots with wraps in shades of brown which may be natural or dyed. Red weft is used which is two threads after each row of knots and sometimes three or four threads are used for high pile construction. The natural dyes used for color in rugs are white produced by bleaching or natural, red extracted from madder plants, cochineal extracted from cochineal beetle by roasting and grinding, brown from walnut husks, Indigo by fermenting the indigo plant, black by using iron pyrites with bark of mountain ash, yellow from pear leaves or buckhorn berries or almonds and green from copper fillings. The pattern used for the rugs from Caucasian are rectilinear and geometric design with designs of rosette, camels, goats, lions, lilies, tulips, shears, houses, People, waves, scorpions and even peacocks
The Caucasian rugs industry was in full bloom till the early 20th century. After the soviets invaded the territory the rug market started its down fall and today it is a dying industry with no help from their own government. With the recent oil boom in this country and unemployment at its peak people are moving towards the city from villages looking for greener pastures discarding the old art of weaving in the villages. Rugs weaving, which was once a cottage industry, has been reduced to a minimum and done by just a handful of people. Today some young innovative entrepreneurs who relished the importance of the Caucasian rugs are trying to revive this industry by bringing in old methods and knowledge with considerable success.
As part of the revival strategy entrepreneurs are encouraging women to revive the traditional Azeri work place which is their homes by helping them set up weaving units. The museums are stacked with technical knowledge of carpet weaving and ancient designs which has been recorded by old scholar due to which these young entrepreneurs are able to revive the traditional carpet and rugs industry. Hand woven rugs and carpets from Caucasian are very much in demand worldwide due to its simplicity in designs and colors. In spite of having no support from the government hand woven Caucasian rugs are slowly coming back into the carpets and rug world to regain its old glory.